Innovative Groundwater-Enhanced Geothermal Heat Pump Study

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
U of MN
Recipient Type
Public College/University
In Progress
Start Date
July 2014
End Date
June 2017
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2014, Chp. 226, Sec. 2, Subd. 08b
Appropriation Language

$196,000 the second year is from the trust fund to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to analyze and validate a new geothermal pump method and technology that will reduce heat pump costs and improve performance and predictability. This appropriation is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 116P.10.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

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Measurable Outcome(s)

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Project Overview

Space and water heating and cooling consume 48% of all energy used in an average U.S. residence, and usually that energy is supplied by natural gas or fossil-fuel derived electricity. Geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy requirements for heating and cooling by up to 75%. However, traditional geothermal heat pumps are expensive and their performance is difficult to predict before installation. Researchers at the University of Minnesota are using this appropriation to develop, test, and demonstrate a novel geothermal heat pump technology that utilizes the heat exchange of groundwater flow to be more efficient, less space intensive, and less costly than current conventional geothermal systems. The technology has the potential to make geothermal heat pump systems have a faster payback period, resulting in more widespread use, and give geothermal a larger role in renewable energy production.

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
U of MN
Street Address
310 Pillsbury Dr SE
Zip Code
(952) 457 8959